In the U.S., consumers will pay more for online films than they will for physical discs - this year, there will be 3.4 billion views via the internet, versus 2.4 billion for physical videos.
‘After more than 30 years of buying and renting movies on tapes and discs, this year marks the tipping point,' says Dan Cryan, senior analyst at IHS.Films 'streamed' from the internet will overtake physical videos for the first time this year, according to a report from IHS Screen Digest.
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Cryan says, 'U.S. consumers now are making a historic switch to Internet-based consumption, setting the stage for a worldwide migration of consumption from physical to online,’
Cryan said. ‘We are looking at the beginning of the end of the age of movies on physical media like DVD and Blu-ray. But the transition is likely to take time: almost nine years after the launch of the iTunes Store, CDs are still a vital part of the music business.’
Services such as Amazon's Prime and Netflix have accelerated rapidly. Only last year, the ratio was 2.6 billion views of films on disc to one billion online.
Online films have grown 135 per cent in one year.
Videos on disc are predicted to continue their downward slump as online video takes over
‘The year 2012 will be the final nail to the coffin on the old idea that consumers won’t accept premium content distribution over the Internet,’ said Dan Cryan, senior principal analyst, broadband & digital media at IHS.
‘In fact, the growth in online consumption is part of a broader trend that has seen the total number of movies consumed from services that are traditionally considered ‘home entertainment’ grow by 40 percent between 2007 and 2011, even as the number of movies viewed on physical formats has declined.’
The huge rise in viewings via the internet has been down to subscription services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, which offer customers unlimited on-demand movies for a flat monthly or annual fee.
Services such as Netflix are built into many games consoles and into new internet-connected flatscreen TVs.
Subsciptions accounted for 94 percent of all paid online movie consumption in the United States.